Op-Ed

DC’s Racial Inequality Continues to Widen, Even as the City Sees Substantial Economic Growth

An economic recovery is supposed to help more and more people the longer it lasts —  but that’s not happening in DC. Our economy has been rebounding since 2010, and income for the typical DC household has jumped a lot, following a nationwide trend. Yet this growth has not reduced poverty. Over 110,000 DC residents lived in poverty in 2015, according to new Census figures — that’s 18,500 more than in 2007. The District’s Black residents are bearing the brunt of the city’s unbalanced recovery. The income of the typical Black DC household has not grown since 2007, and the gulf between Black and white residents is growing. Also, Black DC residents are the only racial or ethnic group to face a higher poverty rate today than before the Great Recession. These findings underscore that communities of color in our city suffer from a lack of opportunity to create a better life for themselves and their families.

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